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The idea is simple. Find a way to make sure needs are met in the community today and for years to come. But how? When the founding board members established The Luzerne Foundation one of their goals was to create a fund, a pool of unrestricted monies, that could be used to address needs that would change over time as life and the world changed too. Thus, the very first fund of the Foundation was born – The Fund for Luzerne County.
Where to begin? Help the homeless. Feed the poor. Build a playground. Support students. Encourage the arts. A truly vibrant community has many facets, each contributing to a positive, enduring quality of life. It was decided The Fund for Luzerne County would make grants in seven areas:
- Social Services
- Education and Scholarships
- Arts and Culture
- Neighborhoods and Community Development
- Youth Issues
- Historic Preservation and the Environment
- Health and Wellness.
Since 1994, over six hundred and fifty grants have been made and the impact of those grants has changed our community for the good.
Access to healthcare has been increased through grants to Wyoming Drug & Alcohol, Care and Concern Clinic and Volunteers in Medicine grants. Libraries and YMCA’s through Luzerne County have received grants to support additional programs and make needed renovations. Audiences have enjoyed productions at the Little Theater of Wilkes-Barre and the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts or have wandered through the art exhibits and vendors of the Fine Arts Fiesta. The North Branch Land Trust and Lands at Hillside Farms have preserved the history and environment of our area while the River Commons has reconnected us to nature and the river with events and programs.
These are but a few of the areas The Fund for Luzerne County has supported. The needs may change in the future and the Fund will continue to seek ways to collaborate, create partnerships and provide funds to address them.